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Press Release

Principal Drug and Weapons Supplier for MS-13 in Honduras Arrested and Extradited for Racketeering, Narcotics, and Firearms Offenses

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Superseding Indictment Unsealed Charging High-Ranking MS-13 Leaders, Including Yulan Andony Archaga Carías, the Leader of MS-13 in Honduras and One of FBI’s, DEA’s, and HSI’s Most Wanted Fugitives

An indictment was unsealed today charging David Campbell, also known as Viejo Dan and Don David, 57, of Honduras, one of the principal narcotics and weapons suppliers to MS-13 in Honduras, with racketeering, narcotics, and firearms offenses.

Campbell was presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn in Manhattan federal court after being extradited yesterday from Honduras.

In addition to Campbell, the superseding indictment unsealed today also charges Yulan Andony Archaga Carías, also known as Alexander Mendoza and Porky, 42, of Honduras, the top leader of MS-13 in Honduras, and three additional MS-13 leaders, Juan Carlos Portillo Santos, also known as Juancy, 35; Victor Eduardo Morales Zelaya, also known as Cuervo, 49; and Jorge Alberto Velasquez Paz, also known as Chacarron, 41, for racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and firearms offenses. 

Campbell and Archaga Carías were previously charged in 2021 in a superseding indictment in Manhattan federal court with racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and firearms offenses. Archaga Carías was subsequently placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List, the DEA’s Most Wanted Fugitives List, HSI’s Most Wanted Fugitives List, and a $5 million reward was offered by the U.S. Department of State for information related to his arrest or capture. Portillo Santos and Velasquez Paz are in custody in Honduras. Morales Zelaya remains at large. 

“Over the course of decades, MS-13 has sowed unspeakable violence in communities here in the United States and abroad,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “With the arrest and extradition of the alleged principal MS-13 drug and weapons supplier, the Justice Department is making clear that those responsible for flooding our communities with violence and deadly drugs will be held accountable in an American courtroom.”

“The FBI and our partners remain committed to the combating the violent criminal activity related to MS-13 occurring in communities across America,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Criminals that engage in illegal activity targeting the American people should take today's announcement as a warning — they cannot hide beyond our borders. We are proud of the close collaboration with our partners which resulted in David Campbell having to face the consequences of his actions.”

“Today’s extradition of David Campbell and the announcement of charges against four other MS-13 leaders for their alleged involvement in trafficking multi-ton loads of cocaine and for allegedly perpetrating unspeakable acts of violence in our communities is a testament to the unwavering commitment of the men and women of DEA to save lives and hold drug traffickers accountable,” said Administrator Anne Milgram of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). “DEA will continue to seek justice for all Americans suffering the devastating effects of drug poisonings and drug-related violence in our communities.”

“MS-13 is one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the world,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York. “My office, the Justice Department, and our law enforcement partners will stop at nothing to pursue and hold accountable MS-13’s leaders, members, and associates, who, as alleged in the superseding indictment unsealed today, are responsible for large-scale drug trafficking and violence throughout the United States and Central America. As alleged, David Campbell was, until his capture, one of MS-13’s major suppliers of drugs and guns, and he planned and coordinated violent acts with the top leader of MS-13 in Honduras, Archaga Carías. Campbell has now been extradited and will face justice in the United States, and a $5 million reward is offered for information leading to the arrest of Archaga Carías.”

According to the superseding indictment, MS-13 is a transnational criminal organization that engages in acts of violence, including murders, kidnapping, assaults, extortion, and large-scale drug importation and distribution throughout Central America and the United States. Archaga Carías is the highest-ranking member of MS-13 in Honduras. As the leader and highest-ranking member of MS-13 in Honduras, Archaga Carías is in charge of, among other things, the gang’s drug trafficking operations; ordering and coordinating acts of violence, including numerous murders; and the laundering of drug proceeds. Morales Zelaya and Velasquez Paz are both leaders of MS-13 in Honduras and close associates to Archaga Carías. MS-13’s drug trafficking operations led by Archaga Carías, Morales Zelaya, Velasquez Paz, and others include the processing, receiving, transporting, and distributing of multi-ton loads of cocaine shipped through Honduras and into the United States. 

“MS-13’s brutal violence is fueled by firearms, funded by narcotics trafficking, and disguised by money laundering,” said Director John J. Durham of Joint Task Force Vulcan (JTFV). “As alleged in the superseding indictment, David Campbell and his co-conspirators procured and sold multi-ton loads of narcotics, deployed firearms, including machine guns, and laundered the drug proceeds, all in furtherance of the organization. Thanks to the tenacious efforts and collaboration of our law enforcement partners, he now will face justice in a U.S. courtroom.”

Archaga Carías and other MS-13 members and associates acting at his direction also provided protection for other drug trafficking organizations (DTO) engaged in transporting multi-ton loads of cocaine through Honduras and destined for the United States. Archaga Carías contracted out members of MS-13 as “Sicarios,” or hit men, to other DTOs for payment. In that role, MS-13’s Sicarios committed numerous murders for hire for DTOs trafficking cocaine through Honduras to the United States. Archaga Carías and MS-13 also supplied other DTOs with firearms, including machineguns, that were received from El Salvador, Nicaragua, and elsewhere. Archaga Carías – and Morales Zelaya, Velasquez Paz, and Portillo Santos, operating under Archaga Carías’ leadership – also ordered and coordinated murders of rival gang members and drug trafficking competitors in Honduras, as well as other members of MS-13 whom Archaga Carías believed had been disloyal to the gang. 

Campbell was one of the principal suppliers of cocaine and weapons, including machineguns, to MS-13 in Honduras. As an associate of MS-13 and close confidant of Archaga Carías, Campbell planned and coordinated retaliatory acts of violence with Archaga Carías and assisted MS-13 and Archaga Carías in establishing businesses to launder the gang’s drug proceeds. Campbell and MS-13 used businesses they owned or controlled to launder drug proceeds, including through banks in the United States. 

Morales Zelaya and Velasquez Paz were both leaders of MS-13 in Honduras and close associates of Archaga Carías. Morales Zelaya and Velasquez Paz each coordinated the gang’s drug trafficking business, acts of violence (including murders) against rivals, and the movement of proceeds from the gang’s illicit activities.

Portillo Santos was a high-ranking member of MS-13 in Honduras who reported to Morales Zelaya. Portillo Santos was responsible for leading MS-13 in one of the largest sectors in Honduras, which included the distribution and movement of large shipments of cocaine, acts of violence (including murders and kidnappings) of rival gang members, and contract murders carried out against rival drug dealers.

 “Campbell’s arrest and extradition should serve as a clear message to those who support MS-13 and other transnational criminal organizations,” said Executive Associate Director Katrina W. Berger of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). “HSI will not cease its relentless pursuit of all suspects involved in this case until they are captured and brought to justice.”

“Every day, MS-13 ravages American neighborhoods with violence, drugs, and death,” said Special Agent in Charge Douglas Williams of the FBI Houston Field Office. “David Campbell allegedly enabled the exportation of violence and poison onto American streets as Mara Salvatrucha’s primary supplier of cocaine and weapons. FBI Houston’s work to ensure Campbell now faces U.S. justice sends a simultaneous message to MS-13 around the world — we will not stop pursuing you, we will not stop dismantling your networks, and we will not rest until we’ve eradicated the violence you bring into our society.”

Archaga Carías and Morales Zelaya remain at large. The $5 million reward offered by the U.S. Department of State remains valid today. Anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of Archaga Carías or Morales Zelaya can contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.  More information can be found at,, and

If convicted, Campbell, Archaga Carías, Portillo Santos, Morales Zelaya, and Velasquez Paz face a maximum penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 40 years in prison. 

The DEA’s Special Operations Division Bilateral Investigations Unit; the FBI San Diego, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York Field Offices; the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division’s Safe Streets Gang Unit; HSI’s National Gang and Violent Crime Unit; and HSI’s New York and Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Field Offices investigated the case, with assistance from the FBI Legal Attaché in San Salvador, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Executive Office, the Justice Department’s Violent Crime and Racketeering Section, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Maritime Operations, for their assistance. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in securing the arrest and extradition of Campbell.

The JTFV and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York’s National Security and International Narcotics Unit are handling the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Robles and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Eason for the Southern District of New York and Trial Attorney Jacob Warren of the Justice Department are prosecuting the case.  

Since its creation in August 2019, JTFV has successfully implemented a whole-of-government approach to combatting MS-13, including increasing coordination and collaboration with domestic and foreign law enforcement partners; designating priority MS-13 programs, cliques, and leaders who have the most impact on the United States for targeted prosecutions; and coordinating significant MS-13 indictments, including the first use of national security charges against MS-13 leaders. JTFV has been comprised of members from U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country, including the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, the Eastern District of Texas, the District of New Jersey, the Northern District of Ohio, the District of Utah, the District of Massachusetts, the Southern District of Florida, the District of Alaska, the Southern District of California, the District of Nevada, the Eastern District of Virginia, and the District of Columbia, as well as the Justice Department’s National Security Division and the Criminal Division. All Justice Department law enforcement agencies are involved in the effort, including the FBI; DEA; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Marshals Service; and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. In addition, HSI plays a critical role in JTFV. The Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, and the U.S. Agency for International Development Office of Inspector General have also provided critical support for JTFV’s mission. 

OCDETF also supports JTFV in its mission. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated April 10, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 24-422